This is a repetition from 1 Kings 12 with interesting insights into the divided nation’s religious bearings. Rehoboam established one hundred and eighty thousand warriors to insure that he maintained control over Benjamin, Judah and as we’ll see shortly Levi. He had set these warriors to battle against Jeroboam, but as a result of a prophet’s word from the Lord, didn’t follow through.
Fortified cities were established that had troops, food and armaments to strengthen the security against Israel and Jeroboam.
We find Jeroboam replaced all the Levites and appointed priests to replace them. His concern was they would turn the hearts of Israel to the one true God; rather than embracing the man created idolatry. The idols were demonically inspired and included oxen and goats.
It’s encouraging that there were those in Israel who refused to convert to this demonic faith, leaving their homes and relocating to Jerusalem, as did the Levites. Rather than bow to the demonically inspired religious spirit, they forsook all for being in a place of true worship. There are those who even today have made such difficult decisions to connect with Bible believing groups rather than remain in those who have displaced the Word of God on many issues scriptures are clear about.
For three years, Rehoboam and Judah prospered the next number of years under his reign until they forsook the Lord and took up other expressions of worship.
Rehoboam had a propensity for women, as his father Solomon had. Two major differences were the number of wives and concubines and that there is no record of any these marriages being politically motivated. Nonetheless, he still had a large number of children, eighty six in total. The son of Maachah, granddaughter of Solomon, Rehoboam intended to take his place as king; even though he wasn’t his oldest son. Nepotism is the favoring of one’s own preferences over other legitimate and qualified individuals, most often family members; this preferential treatment was prohibited under Mosaic Law, Deut. 21:16.
What are we willing to give up for the sake of the Gospel? Are we committed more to the acquisition of material objects than faith? Most often we can determine what truly has our heart by listening to our words spoken. Recall
Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”, Luke 6:45.
The Lord has given a window of opportunity in this season, be assured there will come a time, possibly sooner than later; when we may be required to make such a choice.
Will we stand up and if necessary leave all the stuff behind to follow the Lord?